Intel Corporation today announced the industry's first single-chip processor for cellular phones using Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) wireless networks. EDGE is an emerging technology that sends and receives data two to three times faster than today's GSM/GPRS (2.5G) networks, enabling higher quality multimedia and other broadband applications for mobile phone users.
The Intel(r) PXA800EF cellular processor-the latest product to use Intel's advanced "Wireless Internet on a Chip" technology-combines the key components of today's cellular phones and handheld computers onto a single microchip to enable advanced features, new data capabilities, longer battery life and more innovative designs for mainstream phones.
High-speed wireless networks such as EDGE promise to significantly increase the amount of data processed on a handset, turning the traditional cell phone into a "converged" device capable of high-performance computing and communications. As carriers offer new wireless applications and services to take advantage of the higher data rates, the new processor will be well-equipped to manage the requirements of a converged device to provide a high-quality experience for users.
The new cellular processor is a key component of the Intel(r) Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel PCA), Intel's development blueprint for designing wireless handheld communication devices that combine voice communications and Internet access capabilities.
"The Intel PXA800EF processor demonstrates the ability of Intel's 'Wireless-Internet-on-a-Chip' technology to support multiple cellular networks on a single piece of silicon," said Hans Geyer, Intel vice president and general manager of its PCA Components Group. "This enables phone makers to develop a range of phones using a single platform design, offering leading performance and connectivity from entry-level GSM/GPRS to faster EDGE cellular networks."
Scaleable, Powerful by Design
The Intel PXA800EF cellular processor is built using the same chip design as the Intel PXA800F cellular processor, Intel's GSM/GPRS product announced earlier this year. To add support for EDGE networks, Intel made certain software modifications and increased the speed of the communications processing of its Intel Micro Signal Architecture.
The extra performance and flexibility of the chip design allows phone makers to create a family of products with a variety of features using a shared design. For example, the Intel PXA800F cellular processor gives phone developers the option of offering 104MHz of computing performance for entry-level devices, or up to 312MHz for more advanced applications on GSM/GPRS networks. For advanced phones running the faster EDGE networks, phone makers can use the Intel PXA800EF cellular processor, with an integrated 312MHz processor using Intel XScale(tm) technology to take advantage of both network speed and applications performance.
In addition to the high-performance, low-power processor running at 312 MHz, the new cellular processor features 4 megabytes (MB) of integrated Intel On-Chip Flash memory and 512 kilobytes (KB) of SRAM for industry leading application performance.
The Intel PXA800EF cellular processor also includes a 156 MHz signal processor using the Intel Micro Signal Architecture with 512 KB of integrated Intel On-Chip Flash memory and 64 KB of SRAM, resulting in a complete system on a single chip for advanced EDGE cellular networks.